Skip to main content

About this Show

Key Capitol Hill Hearings

Series/Special. Speeches from policy makers and coverage from around the country. (Stereo)




San Francisco, CA, USA

Comcast Cable

Channel v109






Snowden 11, New York 10, Us 10, America 8, United States 7, U.s. 6, Texas 5, Turley 5, Europe 4, Australia 3, Libya 3, Washington 3, Obama 3, Mr. Turley 2, Un 2, Dianne Feinstein 2, Mr. Greenwald 2, Paris 2, United Kingdom 2, United 2,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CSPAN    Key Capitol Hill Hearings    Series/Special. Speeches from policy makers  
   and coverage from around the country. (Stereo)  

    December 7, 2013
    6:00 - 8:01am EST  

i might, i actually agree with the president on the decision that was made but that doesn't matter. because it was not made in a way allowed under the constitution. i report to your attention, congressman holding, if you look at each of these questions, a couple of things jump out at you. one is they happened to occur in areas of tremendous political division if not deadlock. that is precisely the type of issue the framers wanted to go through the legislative process because our process, unlike other systems, that would explode into the streets of paris and other cities, we have a type of constitutional implosion. we direct those pressures to the center of congress and from that we take disparate factional interests and return them to majoritarian compromise. >> keep going down the list of instances where you think he has
overstepped. >> the other two that come out to me is really the issue of the $454 million in the prevention fund issue for the federal health care insurance exchange. and also the 700 billion for the state exchanges. then finally the, essentially the subsidies for congressional employees which is less significant than those other ones. what bothers me about those last examples is that it goes directly to the the power of the purse and we have seen over and and over again courts saying don't worry, you have the power of the purse. this administration is now directly challenging that and saying, we can take money that was dedicated for one purpose and give it to an unspecified, unallowed, disallowed purpose. that challenges the very rock foundation of the congress. >> mr. rosencrans, do you want to add anything to this list of, i've got four?
>> well i agree with all the items on that list. recent d.c. circuit opinion spoke after nuclear regulatory commission refusing to make a decision about yucca mountains. that is quite a striking example. that is the example where judge cavanagh, the judge cavanagh quote came from. and you know the other example that i really want to keep returning to is the irs targeted enforcement. so, to my mind, taking care that the laws be faithfully execute, the core of that requirement is non-discriminatory enforcement. >> mr. lazarus, do you want to add any to this, perhaps not? mr. cannon, would you like to add any to this. >> i would like to ask, isn't the nuclear regulatory commission -- >> i'm going to reclaim my time, mr. lazarus. before i get to you, mr. cannon, i want to use my last minute with mr. rosencrans. you said that, in extreme
instances impeachment would be appropriate to address, you know, one of these transgressions. we sues -- used example, declaring war without congressional authorization. on scale of one to 10, that being a 10 as necessitating impeachment proceedings, we've related off six instances where the president has exceeded his constitutional authority. i would add a 7th in there on the, what he is doing with our drug laws and manned tore minimums and insistence that prosecutors not charge all the relevant facts. out of any of these seven, where do, which ones rise to the beat of most egregious and would any of them trigger what you would think, meaning impeachment to be appropriate? >> well i wouldn't want to opine on quite what the impeachment line ought to be but i think this, this body should think about a pattern.
if they see a pattern and particularly if they see willful conduct, that should be, that is really the most egregious thing a president can do, willfully violate the take care clause or just display a pattern of disregard for constitutional prohibition. so that is what i think the committee should keep their eye on. >> mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank the gentleman from north carolina. chao recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. collins. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i sat here and i listened and to both sides. . .
in the case of the president now has stepped over those boundaries. we can have legal discussions appear that the problem is where i come from the northeast georgia people just don't get it. they look at the government, they look at what's going on right now and they basically say this is not the way that it's supposed to work. you can let the school house rock, go to the civics class and be graduated law professor, but at the same plaintiff you can't communicate it to the people who have to live under the situation, then there are problems and i believe there is a right to have a mass problem right now. we talked about the power of the purse. i talked all session ever since i got up here about iab leave
truly that this institution has got to matter again. its article one. we talked about article to a lot. congress has to matter again. that means we take seriously the role of budgeting and legislative but also holding accountable when we are being bypassed. the power of the purse is an issue that we talk about elections and that is an issue that has been discussed, but the other issue for me that is bothersome and you try to explain is i'm also asked you have to go up there and you just cut the funds off and shut everything down and it just becomes a blur. i believe he has stepped over review pvp hasn't and that's
where we differ. we will agree on something's got agree or not it wasn't in the bounds of the constitution. and that is interesting for us to talk about for just a moment because it comes back to what do we do besides getting the acts together with congress, what can we do? standing is an issue so i want to ask you this question where do we go to begin that process of reclaiming our article one constitution will roll so that it is a three-legged stool and not right now one and a half. >> that is an excellent question. despite my deepest concerns i remain optimistic. most of my life was on the zaire is that it is as serious as you suggesting that there is a good reason people can't understand what's going on because we are acting outside of the system.
we have taken the system off-line and we are in this ad hoc and improvisational world of the unconstitutional law that is dangerous and i disagree with my friends and mr. rosenkranz i'm always leery about people who say the solution. the framers didn't intend for the elections to be the solution to the problems. they created a system with checks and balances to allow the system to correct itself because there are plenty of abuses. you can have a majoritarian terror that can continue through elections. also in impeachment is not a good device for regulation. it's a very difficult thing. i testified a testify that the t hearings. it's a very difficult standard and certainly isn't there as a substitute. what this -- i think the hearing that this body should seriously consider is the hearing on the members standing. i've been writing about this for years and i recommended if we have members standing and members could go to court and
raise unconstitutional acts, much of these problems would go away because we have guaranteed review that no one would be able to call them into account. >> i believe you are right. you said you are an optimist but i'm an optimistic realist and i don't get on the plane to come to washington dc. i still look at the capitol and i still believe it matters. we are a shining light in the world but i want to spend our time to bring us back to a balanced and checks and balances system in which the congress article one authority is respected and honored and we have a system that most people in the country grew up understanding and that is what the hearing is ultimately about is the respect of the people that sent us here and we have to
continue that. >> now to recognize the gentleman from florida. >> mr. lazarus if congress passes a statute that applies to whatever parameters, can the president and large the perimeters of the tax and apply it to areas outside the statute contemplated? >> no. >> let me qualify that. this is an abstract question. >> i will give you a chance to respond. you cite bureaucrats in the administration on the president's conduct but you don't cite any quotes for the president himself justified in his conduct and what is interesting in the most recent legislative six for the grandfather plans here is what the president says. already people that predated them can keep the plans they have in place. that was already in the law and that is what was called a grandfather clause that was included in the law. today we are going to extend
that principle to people whose plans have changed since the law took effect and people that bought plans since it took effect. in other words, obamacare has a grandfather clause anything after the enactment of obamacare is illegal unless it meets the statutory requirement. with the president is saying as he is extending a grandfather clause to cover plans beyond what the statute contemplates so you think that's appropriate? >> i think you are making a good point. if it is to bury -- >> let me say that we passed in the house a bill that would have grandfathered in the plans and i think that we should do that. >> what i meant to say is i think it is appropriate as a measure if it is necessary to effectively -- >> contrary to the statute the whole point of obamacare is unique to force people into
these exchanges. what about this idea. if the political environment is tough with fb a reason to delay the law or grant a waiver to the law if you cite to the political environment as your justification? congress isn't doing what i want. i may suffer political damage so i'm going to do it anyway. i think in your testimony you did make some good points. i will give you that. you didn't cite the justification for delaying the mandate. he was asked about a press conference and he said in the normal political environment i would call the speaker and say this doesn't go to the essence of the law and we would've delay for a year but the but there wasn't a political environment on quote unquote obamacare. i think that is totally outlandish of the explanation and even more because congress by the time he made that statement had already passed the bill to delay the employer mandate precisely for the reason
the president suggested. let me ask another question because professor turley, i appreciate her testimony and you cite above examples of the founding fathers. mr. lazarus you made the point that it doesn't mean that the rest of these guys say. original founding fathers understood, but you didn't cite any actual founding fathers, so can you cite for me a federalist paper hamilton wrote a number of the executive power, you cite ratifying the early practice in the republic that would substantiate your assertion that that is consistent with the original understanding? >> yes. jefferson? medicine? hamilton? spec there's very little discussion. >> so you're making the assertion to understand the theory that you've are depositing but i think it is tough and you have to back it up and i think professor turley backed up what he was trying to say so i'm asking you what would
you point to? >> can i finish? the answer to the question is during the constitutional convention -- this is what i said in my testimony and this is the basis of the interpretation. i think it is widely accepted. originally what became the take care clause didn't have take care in it. it's just say that the president shall carry into execution of the law. as the db2 forward, that got changed and take care was added. there really isn't -- when i said that clearly shows, and i think what the scholars on all sides have accepted that shows the president has a good-faith -- >> let me be claimed by tim. show me something i can go where hamilton is saying this.
>> the point about the language is more correct. let me say one other thing on the legislative record and it is more -- >> so it matters there but it doesn't matter because you are saying that purpose is different from what the text actually says. i do think that the idea is when you are talking about mr. cannon blank argument that nobody in congress, they didn't intend for the subsidy to do. the idea that we know what congress intended on the 2600 page bill many members didn't read that much less understand they were swearing that you could keep your plan and now we have members of congress running around saying i didn't know you wouldn't be able to keep your plan. so the fact you were going to rely on that over the text of the actual statute to me i don't think i would do that anyway, but with this healthcare law, surely you cannot point to whatt
the congress intended to be these intricate provisions because many of them did not read or understand it. >> mr. cannon is claiming that it was the intention. it was intentional and purposeful of congress to come through the wall. >> we recognize the gentleman from texas. >> thank you mr. chairman and in all of the witnesses. it's good to see some of you back. i don't remember all of you otherwise it would be all of you. but if you would suppose with me that you are in a town hall back in the congressional district and you had in elementar an elel child a student stand up and ask this question i would like to know how each of you would answer this child's question.
what right does the house of representatives have two pick and choose what type of government gets funding, what is the response? start with professor turley. >> i'm sorry the last part of the question? was right does the house of representatives have to pick and choose what part of the government gets funded? >> i think the answer is clear. the order of the three branches are placed by the framers that keep our given to the congress and house of representatives was the power of the purse to control the funds. what is alarming about the situation is that even that power is being challenged. >> professor rosenkranz? >> the power to decide what provisions he wants to fund and you don't want to fund. >> professor cannon? i-beam professor lazarus? >> professor rosenkranz took the words right out of my mouth.
>> article one, section eight. >> mr. chairman and i would ask that we provided copy of this to the senate leader since he asked that question. with regards to libya the president said he didn't need to come to congress in order to get our authority to start bombing in libya and that was a concern to some of us. he said he had been asked by the organization of the islamic conference 50 or 57 states, whatever they got, 50, 57. and also some of the allies said he didn't need congress approval because he had those requests. he was initially prepared to help the theory and rebels it
hasn't become initially but they have become the most profound part and he was ready to start bombing the syrian leader that hillary clinton had called a reformer. initially, he planned to do that without the congress consent. he didn't think he needed the congress' consent. obviously once there was a lot of political pushback he threw it to the congress and let them decide. but i'm curious from each of y you, what gives the president the authority to order bombing even if he promises to limit the numbetothe number of people thae will kill, what gives him the authority to start bombing a country obviously we consider an act of war what gives him that authority i am curious from each of you. >> while, i think it is a great question because i was a little bit confused when he said no one
has accused president obama of being inclined to engage in a war without a declaration. i was in court with members of this committee saying exactly that in the conflict and what disturbed us is the white house came back and said the reason that we don't need a declaration of war is the president defines what it is and he's simply saying this isn't a war. when we talk about the danger this is a danger of a different kind. not only did a express language of the constitution, that this administration through these acts and through the large numbers of attacks is returning the world to a state of nature. we are taking dumb criminal international principles that have governed this world that respect the territorial limitations. i spoke to the nato parliamentarians and i told them you will blow the the day that you and force the position that they can take unilateral action
when somebody vaporizes somebody in london. >> my time is about to run out three and let me give each of you this question. the president ordered and more a -- and more all the -- anwar awalaki. i asked this question in another room how far does that order extend? if he came back to capitol hill and led prayers as he has before, congressional staffers was that order still good, i wanted to know in case there was a german strike that was still on. what authority do you think the president has to order american citizens killed in other countries and which were not at war or in the u.s.? my time is up but if i can get answers to questions from each
of you. >> as quickly as you can given the subject matter. >> i don't believe that he has the authority to do that. they cite things like hot pursuit would be no sense. it's not an imminent threat and the president blank kill list policy is an dangerously constitutional. >> it is a difficult question, but the obama administration's office of legal counsel memo on this was certainly quite strained so they are reaching for allergies and analyst is that is quite unconvincing i would say. >> i am very far from an expert on these matters. but i would just offer one observation and that is i don't really see why the american citizenship the congress is referring to is all that
significant. iit cannotif he knocked the genl happened to be an american citizen and wouldn't alter the way that we could deal with them militarily but they are awaiting questions about the president's authority to implement the drone program. i don't have an expert view on that. >> it's been very effective militarily so that is a good thing. >> i will just associate myself with professor turley blank testimony. >> the chair will now recognize another gentleman from texas. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. i appreciate the opportunity to ask some questions here. i'm going to ask for your help in answering what is probably the number one question that i get at the town hall meetings and people running up to me at the grocery store when i'm back home in texas and it goes something like this. in the light of -- can insert whatever you want, benghazi,
fast and furious, targeting of advocacy groups, overreach, if you like your healthcare you can keep it, very in the terms of obamacare. but the number one question that i get is what can you do about it? we sent you to congress to do something about this. and i've listened today and i've heard that we can enact new laws. that doesn't work if we cannot get through the senate and the president won't sign them and we can use the power of the purse. that's pretty much dead and we have heard testimony about that and that continuing resolution we don't have a lot of options there. we can go to the court and we heard about the standing issue. also even when there is standing, the delay tactic leads you turned out by the time any of the court decisions are held. we talked a little bit about
elections and i think chairman isa brought up the issue with interfering with elections. that's kind of off the table and bible admit my party didn't do as well as we probably should have ended the other election but we did do well when we stored numbers and congress changed and then we've also talked about impeachment, which again i don't think what gets passed the senate in the current. am i missing anything? is there anything else we can do, mr. turley? >> as we said before for years i've encouraged members to consider members standing the stand-alone issue to try to find a way to establish the constitutionally or through statute to allow the members of congress. >> about your start going to get that through any amount of time.
>> i published along the line and i reached this which i also testified on. >> that was in the list of -- >> what is fascinating is that because congress has been stripped of more and more of its power, it has actually put more emphasis on appointment as a way of controlling -- >> have we been stripped of it or giving it up? >> as i said it before and i'm to see again it was slow and messy but at the end of the day the right answer for the committees to hold hearings like this to publicize what it takes to be the violation of the constitution and for that to become an election issue. >> we don't have the problem for the president of my constituents have, but if i had missed have d anything on the remedy against any rogue not planing to anybody
in particular. >> with all due respect a gross misrepresentation of this president. >> i wasn't pointing to the president. a hypothetical rogue president. >> we knew we had a president who was driven from office and would have been convicted had that not happened. and actually, that result was guaranteed in this very room. the ranking republican member of the judiciary committe judiciaro impeach nixon. >> what the professor said is accurate or would help the members of standing. you have to win elections. getting democrats to care about this issue when there's a democratic president and getting
republicans to care about these issues when there's a republican president and right now i don't know if anyone who is watching this at home has noticed, but all five democratic members of the committee have left the room. i think they left 20 minutes, three and a half hours into the hearing. they are obviously not as interested in this. >> i think that one of our problems here is that we have a president right now but isn't willing to work with congress. i think that is -- we just had a democrat walk in. i retract my statement. my apologies. i talked to a constituency that worked for the bush white house and who's job it was to lobby with congress and i met with somebody from the obama administration exactly twice in three years and i do think it is the president's duty to engage. i have a question on that, but i'm out of time. i do think there's a disappointed with the president not being engaged. >> they are concerned about the executive power.
when the executive is a republican. >> each party needs to care about these issues a lot more when they are owned, someone from their own party occupies the white house. >> my time is expired. i will give it back to you or your. >> thto. >> the chair will recognize the gentleman from tennessee. >> i have missed some of this hearing although i caught some of it on the magic of video television. i was interested in the gentleman that mentioned the possibility of impeachment. is that accurate? >> i can't remember if i brought that up. >> what context would you have brought that up? spit in response to a question. i'm not sure if i did or -- >> can someone on the panel refresh his memory? >> i think i brought up a constitutional amendment convention.
i agree that congress can use to restrain the executive. >> constitutional amendment you suggest we should have convention quite. >> the question i was asked is that people can restrain the executive i offered that as one way. >> that's never been done before, has it? >> not that i'm aware of. >> anybody else on the panel have any thoughts about impeachment? >> we have been asked several times questions about possible remedies if we find that a president is behaving lawlessly i've not said that this president has or that these examples rise to that level but the ultimate constitutional check on the president is impeachment and ultimately the election. >> nobody has suggested that
impeachable offense. nobody here thinks that, right? do you mr. cannon? >> well, i don't know. as professor rosenkranz minchin, an important element is whatever crimes or misdemeanors that he's committed were committed knowingly. and whether there is a pattern of abuse of his office. in my testimony you will see that finally out a pretty consistent whereby president obama has ignored and try to rewrite portions of the protection of the portal care act. and i think that the most egregious of these is the one where he has -- he's implementing it in a way such that he is taxing and borrowing and spending over the next ten years. $700 billion that congress never authorized. now he may disagree with my interpretation of the law.
i know mr. lazarus does. i know that you and i and mr. lazarus would all agree that a president were trying to tax and borrow and spend them hundred billion dollars without authorization tha that may be impeachable. >> does anybody think that the actions of going into iraq without actual knowledge of weapons of mass destruction or anything else would have been an impeachable offense? esther lazarus, you seem to be nodding. >> this regard the nod. i was very upset about that whether it is an impeachable and the decision congress would have to make. mr. turley? >> the issue does come closest for both president obama and president bush created the reason i do not think that it rises to that level is because iof the court's decisions they have made this feel like such of a mass. first of all, by the judicial
and then not reviewing it it's very hard to maintain the offense when you have that degree of ambiguity. i do not belief that ambiguity is in the constitution. i believe the president obama violated the constitution of libya, for example. but because of that history and precedent they can claim that they were acting in a reasonable interpretation of the law. >> i congratulate you and i yield back the balance to. >> i have to be careful how i respond to that. i will now recognize another gentleman from texas. >> thank you chairman. i disagree with you on that republicans are only concerned about executive abuses when
democrats were in control three i personally don't like any executive abuses that are who the president is. and i think that our executives have gotten out of control over the last several executives not to mention the judicial branch that i served in for 22 years. i think it has exceeded its boundaries of the constitution. they were talking about the executive branch. the constitution if i remember correctly, the executive is the legislative branch. that would be congress. third is the judicial branch. my understanding of the writers of the constitution they put the most important one first. at least important last because we are selected and the guys on the other end are forever. in the middle is the executive branch. the president said that we are not a banana republic. there's a lot of definitions but my view of the banana republic
is a lawless country. we are proud of the fact of the united states we are a country of the law, not people. but yet, we are in a situation where it means different things to different people and it is not enforced. like many have said, back home in texas they just don't understand where the president gets the authority to do some of these things without congressional intervention. i agree with the people that i represent. and they are from both parties. they are not just republicans. they say how can he do that? if i hear that once i hear it a hundred times. how can he do that? and what are you going to do about it, congressman? we have had some discussions about those things. we know the subjects were people questioned where the president has authority. let's spend one moment on one issue. obamacare according to disagree in court is a tax.
the president has used the law and has said i'm going to postpone that tax for this group first, big business. and i'm gointhen i'm going to pe attacks for six weeks for individuals. and then i'm going to postpone a year for small businesses. he's postponing taxes. since i have no life i have read obamacare. i do not see that in there where the president is getting the authority to postpone attacks, but he doesn't. if he has the legal authority to do that, which i doubt, what is to prevent him from going and looking at the irs code which is a mess. i don't know any american who thinks the code is a good bill. but rather than fix if we just make it bigger every year. so the president goes to the irs and says this group of
businesses they are just having a bad year. or we can use the energy companies on the other end. i'm just going to postpone this paying income tax for a year. why? because i said so. or i will take this group and do something similar. rather than pay 38% of your just going to pay 20% for the next year. it seems to me that he has the authority to amend the taxes which the affordable healthcare tax is according to the supreme court what is to prevent him from just amending the any tax to his liking. mr. turley weigh in on this if you would. >> i have to agree first of all oon the remark about article on, as i said before it is true that they are all equal branches, but the framers spent most of their time on congress because it is
something harder than the madisonian system. it's where the magic happens and that is to take those interests that the strike countries and turned them into a majoritarian compromise. when we get to the issue of taxes, that is one of the most divisive issues facing the country. so when someone comes before the congress and says i want my group to be excluded, it obviously produces a great deal of heat. some people say how about my group, how long should this apply? it is the most divisive issue raised in congress and that is why it was given to the congress so that type of issue would be subject to the transformative process of the legislation. >> so do you belief that that would be unlawful constitutional acts oact of the president stard amending the tax code on his when? >> yes i do.
>> let ask you another question if i may. you mentioned remedy. what about the remedy what is why in any situation where congress thought the executive had enforced the law? >> it can be difficult if you are trying to use it against the president that you can challenge some of these decisions. if it is violating the pa for example, you can go if you have standing to do so those are a long process and that is one of the things that i intend to get off the train at least one of my colleagues. this is not an epa issued this is a constitutional issue. if the president is usurping the authority of congress to say that this is just something that we leave to the agency i think misunderstands the severity of the situation. >> i yield back.
>> i want to thank all of the witnesses for an excellent hearing and a great discussion. on what i think is one of the most important issues facing the country today. i want to also thank the members are very strong participation in today's hearing. that means the witnesses had to stay may be a little bit longer than originally they thought they would but that only means that you cut the upper committee talks through and think through and debate this issue even more extensively. thank you all for your participation. this concludes today's hearing. without objection all members will have five legislative days to the questions for the witnesses were additional materials for the record into this hearing is adjourned.
specifically about iec hq on june 16th and the reason i didn't consult with the national
committee was the fear of prior restraint which exists in this country but not in the united states. the pelican papers came from 1972, it is inconceivable in the american government could get the publication of this material. we would directly threaten prior strength by the cabinet secretary. i have engaged since -- it confirmed the sense that there was to some extent the misunderstanding extending to the prime minister about the teenager's committee. talk about threatening people with being noticed and that is not how it works. the misunderstanding that he
would have kept the material confidential from government sold we had in fact collaborated with the guardian. >> did he give you any feedback what you are publishing pose a risk to life or not? >> he was quite explicit, nothing we have seen in terms of risking life, being explicit about that and that is not to say he would give us a complete bill of health downstream, nothing he saw, most of the time when real run him up and put stories to him, his response is there is nothing that concerns me. this might be embarrassing but there is nothing risking national security. >> following established procedure? >> you touched on issues which
are fundamental, really fundamental questions about the future of surveillance, communication data and a whole range of things about the future, in germany there is huge interest in this subject. in the u.s. there is huge interest, parliamentarians visiting legislation from the president, why has there been so little interest here? one big parliamentary debate. otherwise, a tax on the guardian rather than parliament trying to tell us what the rules ought to be. why do you think that is? >> shooting the messenger is the trick in the book. i can't explain why people have not taken interest. the delete interested, the broader debate, can't think of a
story in recent times, which has been more prohibited in parliament in the courts ngos, roll-call of people who says there needs to be a debate about this, include three presidents of the united states, two vice presidents, general, the security chiefs in the u.s. saying in retrospect we had to have the house of lords, people who have been charged with oversight of security measures here, former chairman tom king, this was a debate that had to be reviewed, the national intelligence and conversation that needs to happen.
this is public interest. i don't think anyone is seriously questioning the hurdles of public interest. >> you authorized files stolen which contain the names of intelligent stuff to be communicated elsewhere. yes or no? >> we already did that. i think it has been known for six months. documents contain names and i share the with the new york times. >> so in effect it is a criminal offense under section 58 a of the terrorist attack. >> you made the line in the sand. i will leave that to you. >> 50,000 plus was sent or communicated by u.s. editor in chief of the guardian and they contain a wealth of information,
a sharing platform between the united states and united kingdom intelligence service. >> i will leave you to express those words. >> that was information which contained a wealth of data, protected data that was the secret and top secret with protected classifications of this country. >> secret documents. >> secret and toxic documents. >> the except that contained personal information that could lead to the identity even of the sexual orientation of persons working with him gec -- cghq? >> you can explain how we have done that. >> from your own newspaper which is still available online, because you referred to the fact
that cghq has its own prize group to start and i suggest to you the data contained within the 58,000 documents also contain data that allow your newspaper to record that information. it is therefore information now that is not any longer protected under the law of this country and that jeopardize as those individuals, does it not? >> you completely lost me. there are gay members of cghq. is that a surprise? >> it is not amusing. they should not be out by you and your newspaper. what about the fact that cghq organized -- eater and to the question or do not. >> please do go on. >> the mention of the existence of a private group within cghq,
if you go to the spindle web site you confined the same information. i fail to see how that adds a single member of cghq. >> you said this was news to you. it is not news to you. what about the fact that cghq organized trips to disneyland and paris? that has been entered in your newspaper. if you knew that, information about the following details that members of cghq is also within the 58,000 documents the security of which you had serious agendas un? >> you lost me. from cghq to disneyland. >> these files contain method of trapping cybercriminals like pedophiles' or hackers. >> the only story that has been identified that resembles that
description is the story about -- i would love the opportunity to talk about that. i don't see any need to further publicize that information. what about safe houses and other safe locations, secret locations, 58,000 documents that contain that information. >> the talk about talk in danger of having a discussion about a digital age. nothing from the guardian, the tolls and website, let's be real about it, there's nothing the guardian published that is in danger ring people in the ways you talk about. >> it is not only what you published but what you communicated. that is what can amount to a criminal offense. you because communication,
secret documents, secret and top secret in the reason, not to hide them from "the guardian" but those that are out to harm them but you communicated those documents. if you had known about the enigma code in world war ii would you have transmitted that information to the nazis. >> that is a well-worn red herring if i may say so. most journalists make a distinction between the kind of thing you are talking about, this is well-worn material that has been dealt with by the supreme court that you learn when you deal with courts. i make those distinctions. >> have members of the board of the "the guardian" newspaper said to you or conceited to use the law may have been broken? have you been told by members of
the board of the "the guardian" newspaper that your job is on the line? >> you are under some misapprehension. >> i am asking you a question. >> the destruction "the guardian" has no jurisdiction over this. >> does "the guardian" -- >> there needs to be another question. >> it is less -- >> michael ellis, order. >> this is your final question. this is not about -- i am asking questions i think you should answer. did "the guardian" pave for flights by david miranda for secret flyers? >> we paid for flights which was acting as intermediary. >> you did a for those flights. how have they been accounted for as a business expense, those flights? is the taxpayer funded attacks break for the transfer of stolen
lines? >> you may not be familiar with the tax laws. we all knew -- >> order,. >> the policy of that shouldn't be asking questions. were you surprised at the amount of intelligence gathering which was revealed as a result of what was given to other media outlets? >> i don't think many people are affected by that. >> they gave you authority. >> i was staggered. i think we all knew the intelligence agencies collect a lot of data and people are trying to make out of this data nothing has changed in the last
15 years since the laws were passed. we had a lot of analog laws that dealt with the digital world. the last serious flaw that was passed about any of this material was in 2000 which was a time when facebook had not been invented and google was building its initial funding and we were pretending the laws that covered crocodile cliffs on copper wires to deal with the collection of maybe three billion events and the data around those, there is a staggering amount of information being collected which surprised even those who passed the law that apparently as an authorized election. >> the report that occurred, a senior american politician in congress, denounced ed snowden
as a traitor. surprised that their own country has been involved. >> the people who were most disturbed by the revelations include the people who pass the laws that are being used to justify. congressman sensenbrenner who is a white ring republican who drafted and passed the patriot act was the first person to say he was appalled that the patriot act as he was drafted was being used to justify what he regarded as an american to come to your question. about patriotism. he was appalled. this is not what i intended by the patriot act. there are three bills in congress being proposed to limit
-- of rising from ed snowden through newspapers and publication which are being used to limit these across party bills to limit what is going on. you are correct that people have been surprised what is going on and in congress at least there is meaningful oversight where people are trying to limit what is going on. >> would you say this has changed the course of the oversight as sufficient subject of the recent public session, not the intelligence and security that would impress the place of that? it has changed the course of this particular debate.
to deal with such a thing, intelligence gathering with many people who are not happy about this. >> it has impacted on that debate. there are many parliamentarians who are anxious about what they were told about the data communication and rather appalled to learn what they were being asked about were already being done and this information was shared with them at the time and it comes to the heart of parliamentary oversight and what was done in the name of parliamentary oversight is remotely adequate or whether they have the technological expertise. i would like to quote one section because we have now spent ten minutes in this committee discussing leaks that didn't happen. the catastrophic leak that did
happen had the following exchange. can we assume you are having discussions about hundreds of thousands of people with access to your information? all three of us were involved in those discussions. thank you very much. the only question asked in parliament about the loss of 58,000 documents through a data sharing between cghq and an essay, the amount of oversight, the pockets of oversight, even now is 1.3 million pounds. supposedly a secret which is the third of the amount the council spends on car parts. >> the prime minister and the chamber wants to reach agreement, if the garden stops
winning, the authority, what may be taken in place. can i ask you this question? how far would you feel -- how far do you feel that these -- if it continues to have revelations of ed snowden? >> things have happened in this country which would be inconceivable in europe or in parts of europe and america. they include prior restraint, a senior official, they include the destruction of our debts, and for police to prosecute, there are things that are inconceivable in america. >> i you under pressure? do you feel this pressure?
>> this activity has been designed -- >> we must move on. are you telling this committee as a result of failure to oversee security services and necessary expertise, sufficient budget, that is why you were obliged to publish, maybe you would find out about this. >> the only way this information came into public domain was through the press. all these things, look at our structures better. america is, dianne feinstein, the market equivalent in america, the real telephone call happen this, and at that point it is abundantly clear total review of all intelligence
programs is necessary, we had no idea what was going on. >> you think it would be good if this committee looked at the structure of the website? >> absolutely. >> thank you. >> your letter and the seventh of november to julian smith that the guardian has published the names or identifying information for the intelligence agency, and used or lost control, and your response, do you say you communicated that to the new york times? >> as a danger of repeating myself, dave materials in the new york times at the same time, roughly the same time that we were doing this, and the edge of
the new york times. >> material given to the washington post not under your control, and the material, did that remain under your control? >> the material was given to the washington post by ed snowden himself, the material we have on the new york times is in joint control of myself and the new york times? >> and lost control, does that include the period with fedex to transfer that information? >> no data was lost, no control, we lost no control of no data, no names leaked from the guardian. >> i would naturally refer to what i am attending with that respect, the same material under
my control. is that what you are saying? >> the reporting in fedex, the translation was exaggerated. it was reported tens of thousands of documents, that was not the case, it was a small amount of material relating to one story that was interested to military grade encryption to arrive safely and didn't involve anyone else. >> with the guardian and the washington post by which i assume, are you saying all 53,000 files began with each of those? and green world and germany.
started in each of those four places. i am wondering i use a mall of the files the started in each of those places. >> i don't think we know exactly what. >> was there any information from the guardian that gwynn greenwald did not. >> i don't -- >> the guardian, what you already had. >> sometimes -- i don't want to get too drawn in. >> have you communicated this
information and? >> i am not entirely sure what was separate from us. and what was held in what way is, and the lower portrait. >> have you not set in the public record relating to cghq what the "the guardian" had with the new york times, that the favorite argument had? >> i don't want to repeat myself too much. i know mr. greenwald has cghq materials that he has, given to him directly from ed snowden. i can't tell you what we gave him that he didn't have already.
>> another question. do you consider you have communication on the identity of these agencies out of jurisdiction contrary to the territory? >> and what that is? >> try to make myself clear. the government for many months what ed snowden leaked, included a good many documents with security people. as i said, i told the secretary in mid july that we were sharing this with the new york times. >> and communicate that?
>> they worked in new york, yes. one of the reasons for that, some of you would be familiar with this, the people who remember the mid 80s, traveling to australia to look at the am i 5 agent, and tried to stop what had been published in australia. what was very much in my mind was the particular situation where the guardian was the only publication in the world that was not able to publish material that was being published in rio or germany or around the world. >> in your response to that, do you consider it is not in the
public interest to prosecute? by the authorities and all that. >> depends on your view of a free press. in america the attorney general eric holder came out in the last two weeks and said what he had seen so far he had no intention of prosecuting glen greenwald. on his watch as attorney-general of the u.s. he would won't prosecute any journalist doing their duty journalistically. in new york within the last month i debated general counsel of the nsa steward baker and he said between what ed snowden did and what journalists did, once the information is in the hands of journalists it is protected material. a nice reading of our own bbc and the guidelines he laid down in the process, the public
interest will weigh heavily and highly in any deliberations he takes. >> >> and what he was engage in, which was distributing the national borders. >> we were cheri in this with the new york times, ordered to stimulated debate, which is vital. >> is their current police investigation into "the guardian"? >> i don't know. communications with you all. >> i have seen scotland yard say they are holding an
investigation. in records, as a public record the committee decided to call the head of am i 5 in open session. >> did you have advance notice of the questions asked of you today? >> the general areas of concern that might be covered. the intelligence and security meeting, carefully manicured questions, rehearsed questions, the committee accused of approval for the government, and the cheerleaders of the iraq war. this raises the question that the variety of that committee is inadequate and we need reform.
>> as i said, lots of people including former chairs said there needs to be we need to really look at the oversight, and wants to look into his own committee and i hope this will be an opportunity to talk about how it can be improved because there is no question that it should be. the united kingdom government's reaction is different from any other government and the united nations, it is unacceptable in a democratic society and the new york times, challenge the idea of a free, inclusive press. isn't that true? >> the united kingdom and the
last six months, free press includes ngos and two un -- people in europe and many editors around the world. >> 29-year-old, 855, accessing information suggest potential enemies have access too? >> the statement that deputy national security adviser that they have been working on that assumption since ed snowden disappeared with the material. >> were you shocked by the revelations of the intense surveillance by this country in places like the g 20 and so on?
>> the question of public interest, the fact that president obama effectively, that -- no denials from australia that they were intercepting phone calls from the president of indonesia and his wife and that was the things that led dianne feinstein to say she had to review the intelligence services that this was going on without knowledge and then you will remember the united states came out and said we will stop bugging these gatherings of the world bank or all of these, bugging the european parliament. we don't know, there was some specific organization or their allies the voted not to espionage or bridge building or
peacemaking, a lot of institutions set up after the second world war the united states came out of it, we won't be bugging them anymore. >> do you think the reaction of government has less to do with security and more to do with the fact that we have traditionally been neurotically secretive? >> something about the committee we have been talking about earlier just published their last meeting in november. the press side and the officials cited, besides the chairman of the body was important to distinguish routine embarrassment and concern of national security, much of the material published by "the guardian" was in the former category. a lot of this is embarrassing because it came into the public domain threatening national security. >> would you agree you perform a
very important role in legislature? a difficult question, i know. >> there is no doubt in my mind. not blaring my own trumpet. >> please do. >> this has been a coalition of newspapers including newspapers in europe. this is material -- it is self-evident. the president of the united states calls a review, everything to do with intelligence, that information only came into the public domain through newspapers, newspapers have done something which oversight failed to do and that was true of this country and the united states. >> mr. chairman, i am interested
to understand when you come into possession of documents of this nature that clearly indicates a big story for you, also contains materials, how do you go about judging what you can publish and what you can't publish? >> i don't know, i don't agonize about these decisions in a way that you would expect. we touched on it earlier. we are all patriots. >> how are you in this case? >> i discussed this with colleagues, the most experienced colleagues in terms of dealing with this material, and it is important to note that there have been more than 100 contacts with officials side of things.
whitehouse, up the national intelligence, the fbi, the nsa, the national security council, downing street, the cabinet office, national security adviser, we have consulted more than a hundred with the agency's, aware of their concerns before we published. >> the question is have you gone through all these documents, have some been from -- of the this been okayed for publication? >> publishing documents, we published 26, we published a few more individual pages. i will not be expecting us to be
publishing more. it was a trickle. >> what about the one that was communicated to the united states? i understand the names that were redacted. how did you go about deciding? >> let's be clear about this. "the guardian" has not used any names, individual slides had names on. it has been said we didn't use names. >> you made it clear -- >> a question i asked you, when you communicated the documents to the united states and in some cases in these documents you did redact these names? >> you are wrong.
you haven't redacted any names. >> we have not used any names. >> communicated document to other places. >> before transmission. you are quite right. >> what did you write about? i am confused. >> at the risk of repeating myself, these documents, the government has been aware of that? these were shared with the new york times. >> with many of those names. you said the names as they were. >> the new york times is not used any names. >> did you do that? you did. >> it was directed by ed snowden. >> but you are working with that -- okay. >> what we were working within
america, which is -- paul steiger has 15. extremely experienced in how to do this. >> did you document that? >> one story, a small number of documents. open knowledge, his name. >> just on names. >> why you didn't reject those names before sharing them with the new york times? >> there were 58,000 documents. >> in the public interest's defense, not journalism but to sort of those going through the foreshadowing, but there was -- >> there were conversations with the cabinet secretary which led
me to think it was wise to share this material. >> the ceremony that took place in your basement when the secret service attended, how many was that? >> there were two from the cghq side and two or three from the guardian. >> you break out the hard disks? >> harder to break than you might think. >> and black and decker. >> was there any point in that exercise if you have the documents to punish them? >> the serious point is this.
i was completely clear with the secretary that there were copies elsewhere and the destruction of these computers was not worth reporting. i think they still went ahead and -- >> did it with black and decker, i think as i said this was a hard choice for the government. they were balancing a free press with security. the point was that the alternative, criminalize these all you like and try to take some out of it. the next ed snowden, the next chelsea manning won't go to newspapers. >> just on the ceremony. a public relations exercise. >> i wouldn't say that, but the aim was to stop publication, and
is apparent the reason they didn't go for the injunction was they lost control and destroyed them. >> we had some issue. >> from what you said this afternoon, is it the case that you say what you publish in the newspaper company would not have caused any harm to any intelligence service, or intelligent operation? >> i don't know. no one had come to me and said this was a specific harm, lots of people in the security agencies have seen the former lord chancellor or foreign office minister is, a former
marine who are serious speakers who dealt with the agency's new said we should always treat national security with proper skepticism. the only story which any member of parliament directly referred to, the dep internet if anybody is interested. >> the second question is sanderson, the river to are announced this whole issue of information in the u. k, i will summarize what he said is the free press to hold the government to account, and the guardians played investigations,
joining that, is it in this issue? and any author for this information? >> i think we just had a long and tortured debate about medicine and during that debate we heard repeated answers for all three party leaders that politicians would not interfere in the press and it seems to me the very first hurdle, parliament is in danger, and the transit of journalists. and we didn't want this in the public been.
and intelligence agencies, once it is in the hands of the press, the press must be protected and the wonderful thing about america is a lesson we are still learning in this country. >> my question is in relation to the part that your newspaper, others have expressed that times and others alluded to this, the question about the extent of the working security agencies. in the end parliament makes the composition but do you have some suggestions as to possible ways that parliament can in fact talk about what the security agent will do? >> somebody had to hold the ring between conflicting debate or
public interest, security is in great public-interest. the public interest in privacy, the public interest in the economic health of tech companies, the economic basis of the digital economy of this country, thirty six billion as the likely damage to u.s. and u.k. companies because people are not going to trust these companies on the basis of the domain. i have to include you need a privacy advocate, you need somebody external who has technical knowledge which i don't and many have. they have a school budget, 1.3 million, and there are all kinds of questions parliamentarians have started asking about whether it is right for is this not to be a full select committee of the house,
whether it is right that the chair should be a former person with dealings with the intelligence committee. and whether they have enough resolve. i am hearing helpful suggestions, interesting suggestions about how it might be reformed as a result of newspaper coverage. >> thank you, alan rusbridger. thank you. what is the principal? all governments keep secrets. what should i think you're better place to adjudge what piece of that information should go public? or having a field day and this helps?
>> i am not claiming to be better than the head of the security agency, just the there's a broader debate than security and the democracy on want to live in, and i don't when the national security, the trump card that says i am sorry, you can't do anything else. >> what i want to know is the people who are experts in this serving the country said that this shouldn't be the domain. how can you argue about the facility, effect on labeled to make adjustments on that which obviously you do. >> the call story, you are familiar with this, a system of communicating in the encrypted form. it was built by the u.s. navy and is funded to this day by the
state department. why the state department? is funded in horrible countries to communicate safely. that is the good thing. and the data files are fancy. if we publish a story for the white house for three weeks to say the network still seems to be safe to use, is that a good thing or a bad thing? we use our judgment, nothing the guardian published. >> this information is being done and reports that this is happening. it is something very different to transmit the information in a risky way, in an insecure way.
which could put at risk security personnel. these are two different seems. i am not worried if the americans are embarrassed. the transmission of information -- >> the judgment that you are making -- >> the question -- >> the material we can talk endlessly about how the material will help and the only time the material is fleet has been from the nsa. you understand that part. >> why is it redacted? i am not clear why some of the names and information is redacted? is it because you didn't know
before they were sent? >> the reduction was of any documents that we published that might have had a name on it. we have not used any names. i am talking about published material. >> stuff that was transmitted before? >> some cleaning up. we did not clean up every one of them. >> what proportion of documents were read before? >> i don't know. >> you don't know what is transmitted and you don't know -- transported yourself -- the problem was encrypted in his pocket and the passwords -- that doesn't strike me as being the best sort of way of looking
after secure information. >> not actually quite right. >> it is called the telegraph. >> if you read it it is not quite right. when it talks about this the files that was the kind of index to other files. if it was made 11 days after the material was seized, the encryption on the pound has not been broken by cghq. the complimentary witness given some time in which the case they made for retaining the files in the complete files that the kind of encryption that was being used. >> was any information taken home from "the guardian" by your staff? >> no. >> in documentary about wiki leaks, james ball said he to be encrypted documents, in this case you are absolutely certain
that didn't happen. >> the material was held. we were not blind to this material and went to more recordings over this material than any other story. >> there was one story or was that something else? >> in the category of political embarrassment or national security. >> in your lecture in 2011 you set out a number of criteria,
journalists are involved, commanded by this and others. do you think what you and done meet those five tests in regard to sufficient calls of integrity of motives, the methods used, and a reasonable prospect of success? >> we were looking at it this week. they are very good tests. it is good, its authority, proportionality,%, no fishing expedition. one of the things that was reported is we are not going to use this for storage.
and i believe we have abided by those. >> are you in touch with this? >> not since mr. greenwald left the guardian. >> those indications, the commissioner coming in. >> i don't expect anything could happen. >> we have another session on counterterrorism. mr. ellis, then mr. williams. >> there are many -- how we can result in fundamental problems, and to approve it to you. there is simply no way to do
that. and this is to argue further legislation. what is the solution? how can we be in position, there's no way to establish this because of the oversight, how can we break that gap? >> it is possible. in the real world this will come back to parliament and parliament and congress and all countries are going to work out their question of oversight, the same committees must contain the technological challenge and representatives of civil society that can represent public-interest in things that are not properly secured.
>> your internal exchange, the documentary called we steal secrets, and encrypted documents to this point. in an online interview on buzz feed with david miranda, one of the stocks of the guardian was due to carry stolen secret files, speech and federal express. did you learn federal express conditions include subsection 16, that that would be an unauthorized thing to do? i think you said federal express, my question to you frankly, do you not accept you have been at the very least woefully irresponsible with secret information about people's lives? >> the quote is about wiki leaks, not about this story at all. has nothing to do with this story and i don't accept that.
>> the situation, where you go from here, the prime minister is not directed to what he said in the house. some described it as innovation. continue to publish despite all that, that relationship with ed snowden. you consider that public domain? >> we have been working slowly and responsibly through this material with the best journalists in the world, not 100 contact with government resources and we continue to control but we are not going to be put off by intimidation, nor are we going to behave recklessly. >> what should the committee asked the head of am i 5 bearing in mind he likes questions?
>> the question mr. hubbard raises is a crucial one. i met most of the heads of agencies and sirius people who think about these things, but equally it is apparent intelligence services, speaking not necessarily about ours has been out of control literally because they were not in the control of people -- that is a dangerous state of affairs handed is true of america and to some extent through here because of the relationship between the nsa and cghq so the question for the head of am i 5 is the one mr. at that raised which is what is the forum in which this can be overseen with people who understand the technology to are adequately resources who
understand the broader questions -- >> those who protect the country by gathering information, dealing with terrorist organizations like al qaeda and other organizations have not been undermined by what you have done? those of us who sleep safely in our beds at night should not feel they have been undermined at all by the "the guardian"? >> the biggest threat is if you are in a situation where there are people inside the organization so troubled by what they see and troubled by the relationship between what engineers can now do, what president obama said they can do as opposed to what they should do. as long as you have people among those hundreds of thousands of people so troubled that they are going to leave these databases to generate the public debate the president says is necessary then you have no security and president clinton talked the other day about having a world
with no privacy and no security. that is a bad situation for everyone. >> mr. alan rusbridger, thank you for coming here. >> thank you. >> order. could i have the commissioner? ..